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Top 30 Black Influencers



NYC Public Advocate

A self-described democratic socialist, JUMAANE D. WILLIAMS has served as the New York City Public Advocate since 2019.   In a crowded field with 18 other candidates, Williams was elected in a special election to complete the term of Letitia James, who resigned to become Attorney General. 

He began his activist political career as a member of the New York City Council in 2010, and was easily re-elected in 2013.  Throughout his three terms in the City Council, he championed landmark legislation that resulted in transformational change and stood shoulder to shoulder with marginalized communities fighting for justice and equity for all. 

Prior to entering the political arena, Jumaane began his career as a community organizer by serving as the assistant director for the Greater Flatbush Beacon School and subsequently as the executive director of NYS Tenants & Neighbors, where he fought for truly affordable, income targeted housing across the city and state.

In addition to these successes, Williams’ backstory is equally impressive. At a young age, he was diagnosed with Tourette’s and ADHD, yet this obviously did not prevent him from becoming the leader he is today. He made it through the public school system and then moved on to earn not one but two college degrees.

Williams’s drive to keep pushing through school and his passion to do something about the unfair treatment of women, immigrants and people of color continues to enable him to be the people’s advocate.


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